Chatting with Candice
Episode Run Time: 01:33:46
Aella is one of OnlyFans' most successful creators. Aella was homeschooled in a fundamentalist Christian household. After leaving home and finding herself unable to afford college, she found herself in a series of demoralizing jobs, the worst of which included working in a windowless factory and being exposed to sunlight for only two days every week. She escaped that awful life through camgirling and escorting. She briefly worked in the "safe for work" sector before returning to porn and becoming the owner of one of the most lucrative accounts on OnlyFans. In this episode, Aella and I discuss the varying definitions of degrading work, the value of monogamous vs. polyamorous relationships, and how she unwittingly humanized sex workers through her social media presence.
[00:01:18] Introducing Aella
[00:03:03] Homeschooling and social ineptitude
[00:06:52] Anger and coming to terms with our sexuality
[00:08:50] The rising sense of shame among conservative men
[00:12:02] The varying definitions of degradation and shame
[00:18:20] Getting back into sex work with a "safe for work" public identity
[00:25:36] The humanization of sex workers
[00:30:07] Screening clients and the merits of decriminalizing sex work
[00:31:52] Aella's most meaningful experiences as an escort
[00:37:02] Questioning the default to monogamy
[00:41:09] Broaching the topic of polyamory in a relationship
[00:48:38] The pitfalls of traditional monogamy
[00:51:21] Consciously crafting your relationships and disentangling sex from love
[01:06:46] The conservative obsession with sex work and its perceived implications on society
[01:13:25] Erasing the stigma around sex work through debate, conversation, and authenticity
[01:19:35] Reddit, catcalling, and controversial opinions on race
[01:24:20] The devastating effects of dogpiling and ad hominem attacks on social media
[01:30:38] Advice for dealing with online abuse
When the pandemic hit the US, Aella was escorting and decided she needed to find a different way of doing her work. In her journey to becoming an OnlyFans creator, she felt anxiety about marketing her pornographic content openly.
In her "safe for work" roles, Aella had created a network of influential peers who were unaware of her experience doing sex work. There was a tenable discomfort around introducing her content to those peers, and she feared that people would no longer want to be publicly associated with her. She entertained the nagging feeling that her reputation would shift from an intellectual to just a "titty girl." Reentering sex work had become daunting in a way that it hadn't been when she first entered the industry years before. This time, she felt she had something to lose.
The public's perception of sex workers tends to be very one-dimensional and born from a lack of information. A lot of the resistance to sex work and sex workers results from not knowing any sex workers who are comfortable with themselves and the profession. Men and women in the industry internalize the shame projected onto them by the public and keep their work private to protect themselves. Feeling comfortable and secure about sex work goes a long way in driving an honest conversation about it and humanizing sex workers by releasing them from the shadows.